INVESTIGATIONS: UNVEILING THE UNSUNG MUSLIM HEROES IN UGANDA, WHO IS WHO

0
104

PHOTO: Dr. Edris Kasenene

STORY BY HAJI NSEREKO MUTUMBA

IN this story, we bring you Moslems who have contributed whole heartedly towards Islam and the Muslim fraternity in Uganda, qualifying to be Muslim heroes though unsung.
In the first story, we shall extensively look at Dr. Edris Kasenene. 

EDRIS SERUGO KASENENE
He was born on 30th September, 1949 at Kibinda, Byakabanda Sub-county, Kooki County, Rakai District.
His father is the late Haji Rajabu Mukasa of the Ente (cow) clan, son of Sadiq Kasenene who  was the oldest of five sons of Mbajo who had settled and later buried at Bisanje Masaka. 
Sadiq Kasenene participated in religious battles between Christians and Muslims that ended at Kalagala in  Kabula, Lyantonde District. He later migrated to Kooki following his aunt who was the wife of the former Kamuswaga Kabumbuli II of Kooki Kingdom which later in 1868 became a traditional county of the 18 counties (Kamuswaga) of Buganda Kingdom. 
Edris Serugo Kasenene’s father Rajabu Mukasa later migrated to Kakoma Village in Lwanda Sub-county, Kooki County – Rakai district. He served as Kakoma Village Chief for 15 years and later became the Head of Mbajo Ssiga in Ente Clan until his death in 1999. 
His mother is the late Hajat Joweria Nnakirembeka of Mutima (The Heart) Clan. 
Education: Edris Kasenene went to Kammengo Muslim Primary School for his primary education, where he attained his Primary School Certificate in 1964. He joined Kakoma and later Serinnya Junior Secondary Schools where he attained his Junior Secondary School Certificate. 
From there, he joined Agakhan Masaka Senior Secondary School where he attained O’Level School Certificate in 1969.
In 1971, he attended Shimoni Teachers’ College, Kampala where he attained a Grade III Primary Teacher’s Certificate in 1973.
Following the assessment of Shimoni College, Edris Kasenene performed very well and he was retained as a teacher at Shimoni Demonstration School in May 1974. 
In 1975, he was appointed Headmaster and posted at Kawempe Muslim Primary School.
In 1994, he registered for Uganda Advanced Certificate Examinations as a private candidate and attained two principal passes and at the same time, sat for Mature Age Entry Examination for Makerere University which he passed well. 
Accordingly, Makerere University admitted him on government sponsorship for a Bachelor’s Degree Programme in 1994/1995 academic year which he passed well in Second Class Upper Division in 1997. In the same year in August, Makerere University admitted him for a two year Masters programme to pursue a Master of Arts in Educational Management and Administration which he successfully completed in 1999. 
In January 2000,  Makerere University admitted him for a Doctor of Philosophy Degree Programme in Educational Management and Administration which he successfully completed in 2003 and graduated as a PhD Holder in January, 2004.
He also holds a Diploma of Education from Kaliro NTC awarded by Kyambogo University, and an International Certificate in Education Sector Planning from UNESCO Headquarters Paris, France. 
Haji Dr. Serugo Kasenene is an associate professor and a Doctor of Philosophy with a doctorate in Educational Management and Administration, a Masters degree in Educational Management and Administration and a Hons. Bachelor of Arts Degree, Upper Division – all from Makerere University, Kampala. 
Service to the nation: In 1975, when he was appointed Headmaster and posted at Kawempe Muslim Primary School, he organized teachers, worked hard and in 1976, he presented 31 candidates for Primary Leaving Examinations. Twenty nine candidates passed in division one and 2 passed in division two. 
According to the then Kampala City Council ratings, Kawempe Muslim Primary school was the best performer and was awarded a shield. 
Since then, the school continued performing very well, thanks to Edris Kasenene’s focused leadership. In most cases it either attained first or second or third positions in KCC schools before he was transferred to Nakivubo Settlement Primary School in 1994. 
During his time as the head of Kawempe Muslim Primary School, the school attracted students from the whole country and it was the first Muslim school in Kampala to start a boarding section. 
In those years, many of his students were admitted in traditional famous secondary schools such as King’s College Budo, St. Mary’s College Kisubi, Gayaza High School, Namagunga Girl’s School, Kibuli S S, Nabisunsa Girls’ School, etc. 
Most of these later became educationists, medical doctors, engineers, lawyers, administrators, social scientists/workers, managers, politicians and security personnel. 
Notable ones in high profiled positions include among many others;
1.  Umaru Kakumba – Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Affairs, Makerere University, Kampala.
2.  Umaru Bagampadde – Dean, School of Technology, College of SADET, Makerere University, Kampala. 

  1. Dr. Badru Muyanja – District Veterinary Officer, Luwero.
  2. Hon. Mike Kennedy Sebalu – former MP Busiro East Consitituency, Wakiso District and Member of East African Leagislative Assembly.
  3. Muhamud Kateregga – UMSC Executive Committee Member and UNICEF Cordinator.
  4. Dr. Isha Nalule – Veterinary Doctor, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Agriculture, Kigali University.
    7.  Juliet Namuddu – Director of Education, KCCA.
  5. Hamza Sendagire – Deputy Headmaster, Nkoms SS, Mbale.
  6. Martin Muyingo – Headmaster, Makerere College School, Kampala and a PhD Candidate.
  7. Muhamoud Lutale – Headmaster, Namayumba Secondary Secondary School, Wakiso District. 
  8. Dr. Habibu Kabuye Takuba – Former Deputy Mayor Kampala City Council
  9. Nasser Kibirige Takuba – Former LCIII Chairman Kawempe Division. 
    Kasenene the Associate Professor:  While he was a PHD candidate at Makerere University, Haji Kasenene was appointed lecturer at Kampala International University. On completion of his PHD in 2003, he was appointed Associate Dean – Kampala International University, Faculty of Education, Ishaka Campus, Bushenyi District. In 2005, Makerere University appointed him lecturer, in East African School of Higher Education Studies and Development until 2014.
    During his service mainly at Makerere University, he taught and supervised to completion the following  students among many others;
    1.  Rehemah Ndagire – Supervisor of Secondary Schools in Makindye Division, KCCA.
    2.  Kuluthum Nnabunya Muzaata – Education Officer, KCCA and PhD Candidate.
    3.  Madinah Nnabaggala – Superitendant of Prisons.
  10. Hamza Sendagire – Deputy Headteacher, Nkoma Secondary School, Mbale.
    5.  Mariam Namirimu – Senior Examinations Officer—Uganda National Examinations Board.
    6.  Zakaria Herayo-Turyaba–Senior Officer in YMCA.
    7.  Hadijah Nantongo Mugerwa —- Headmistress, Hawa Secondary School, Wakiso District.
  11. Yusufu Kato Kawenja – Director of Studies, Masaka Secondary School.
  12. Dr. Zahara Farida Kiggundu—Academic Registrar, KIU  Nairobi Campus, Kenya.
  13. Nuhu Kawooya—NGO Executive Director.
  14. Dr. Amina—Academic Registrar, KIU Western Campus, Bushenyi district. 
    Dr.Kasenene has also served in the following educational Institutions among others;
  15. Member, National Examinations Board between 1977 and 2000.
  16. University Council Member – IUIU between 1997 and 2001.
  17. University Council Member – Mutesa 1 Royal University, Buganda Kingdom between 2015 and 2018.
  18. Islamic Call University College – Vice Chairman Islamic Call University College Council. He played an instrumental role in the registration of this university by the Ministry of Education. 
    Currently, Dr Kasenene is serving as an Associate Professor at School of Postgraduate Studies and Research at Amoud University, Somaliland in the Horn of Africa since 2016 and Advisor to the President of that Institution.

SERVICE TO ISLAM & MUSLIM FRATERNITY 
HE is the founder of Kawempe Muslim Secondary School which was established with help of Uganda Government in 1984 as a special gift to Kawempe Muslim Primary School in appreciation of its excellent performance in both academic and co-curricular activities for over ten years since 1976 under the headship of Edris Serugo Kasenene, then Headmaster. 
In 1983, the UPC government came up with a policy of establishing a secondary school in every constituency in Uganda. By the end of that year, the policy was implemented and in 1984 four secondary schools were established in the four constituencies of Kampala namely; Kampala East, Kampala West, Kampala North and Kampala South. Strong UPC leaders would determine the locations of those secondary schools. Accordingly, Aggrey Awori located Luzira Church of Uganda Primary School to house the secondary school for Kampala East Constituency, Erisa Kironde located Kitebi Primary School to house the secondary school for Kampala West Constituency, Jaberi Bidandi Ssali located Kalinabiri Primary School to house the secondary school for Kampala North Constituency which included Kawempe area at that time and since Kampala south had no strong UPC guy, Mr. Olwata Omara the City Education Officer who was a staunch UPC guy and a Catholic, located Gaba Catholic Primary School to house the Secondary School for Kampala South Constituency. 
While interacting with the City Education Officer early in 1984, Edris Serugo Kasenene requested him to negotiate a fifth secondary school for Kawempe Muslim Primary School since the idea of starting a private one had failed. The Education Officer agreed with him and started the process of the acquisition of the school. On 24th February, the Education Officer Mr Olwata Omara came to school with good news that the government had accepted to establish another secondary school in the constituency at Kawempe Muslim School in honour of its continued good performance.
 That is how Kampala North Constituency got two government secondary schools at the same time. 
The first registration of this secondary school was Kawempe Secondary School omitting the word ‘Muslim’. 
Kasenene returned it to the Ministry of Education and Sports he demanded for the inclusion of the word Muslim arguing that if it was an appreciation for the good performance of Kawempe Muslim Primary School, the name of the Secondary School should tally with that of the primary school which was Kawempe Muslim Primary School. 
Mr. Tom Mugoya, the then Chief Inspector of Schools and his Assistant Mr. Vicent Obyero in charge of registration of secondary schools agreed with him to issue a new registration of the newly established government secondary school in the name of, ‘KAWEMPE MUSLIM SECONDARY SCHOOL’ as it is popularly known today. 
On 2nd March 1984, the school was inaugurated at Kawempe Muslim Primary School in its main hall by the then Provincial Educational Officer Mr. Steven Maloba assisted by Mr. Olwata Omara, the then City Education Officer.
Kasenene came up with a delegation that approached Juma Zukuuli Sect at Kyadondo Hill in the same area for a temporary accommodation of the newly established school which later became its permanent seat. 
Following the above information, some people refer to him as the Founder of Kawempe Muslim Secondary School.

AS A UMSC MEMBER OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND SECRETARY GENERAL
In May 1987, Haji Kasenene was elected Member of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) General Assembly representing Rakai District for five years and in July, 1996 he was elected Acting Secretary General of UMSC until December 2000. 
In the following UMSC General Elections that were concluded in the same month, he was elected substantive UMSC Secretary General to serve a seven-year term ending in December, 2007. He was the first Secretary General since to formally hand over office since 1972 when UMSC was started. He  was again re-elected Member of UMSC General Assembly in May, 2013 during General Elections representing Central Region.

PROCESSING THE UMSC H’QUATERS OLD KAMPALA LAND TITLE
During his tenure as UMSC Secretary General, he worked on the acquisition of the land title of UMSC Headquarters at Old Kampala Hill. It should be noted that since 1972 when President  Idi Amin Dada donated 12 acres of land covering Old Kampala Hill to the the Muslims of Uganda to establish their headquarters; the subsequent UMSC leaders had to work on the acquisition of the land title to that effect. At the beginning of his tenure as Acting Secretary General of UMSC in July 1996, Haji Kasenene discovered that the land title had not been acquired. He accordingly approached Dr. Raphael Kamuhangire, the then Commissioner for Antiquities, Ministry of Trade and Tourism seeking acquisition of the land title. 
Dr. Kamuhangire showed him records indicating that Plot 1 Old Kampala hill had been gazeted as a Monument of Captain Lugard at the beginning of the last century and that it had to be degazeted to change its use for another purpose. 
He started the process and worked closely with the officials of that Ministry including Dr. Kamuhangire. Eventually in 1998 H. E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni wrote to the Minister of Lands directing that UMSC should be given a Land Title of 10 acres instead of 12 as originally stated. However, during process the Captain Lugard Monument and the Flag Spot which had been encircled by the mosque structure became obstacles to the title acquisition. 
To solve the problem, as the Secretary General of UMSC, he caused a meeting which sat at the venue that included the then ministers; Hon. Francis Ayume – Minister of Lands, Water and Minerals, Hon. Med Kaggwa – Minister of Presidency and Hon. Moses Ali – Minister of Trade and Tourism to discuss the issue of the monument. 
About the issue of the land title, Dr. Kasenene states;
“In that meeting it was resolved to relocate the monument and the flag spot on the same. The resolution was forwarded to the President who had sanctioned the acquisition of the land title by UMSC on that hill for consent. In his response, the President endorsed the relocation of the Captain Lugard House and the flag spot to the lower part of Old Kampala Hill in the two acres  to allow smooth construction of the National Mosque since a national mosque was more important than the monument.  In the same letter, the President said that the original architectural structure and bricks should be maintained during its relocation showing its originality. 
When it came to the question of who would relocate the Lugard House, the Ministry of Trade and Tourism demanded that UMSC should meet the cost of relocating that house and should show commitment to that effect to facilitate the acquisition of the title. After realizing that the relocation of Lugard House was going to be the obstacle of getting the title, the Secretary General wrote of commitment to that effect.
After that commitment, Ministry of Trade, and Tourism accepted to release the land and thereby issued a letter releasing that land to be degazeted for another usage as the law establishes. Short of that, UMSC would not get the land title for that land. 
When the Leader of Great Jamahiria of Libya accepted to complete the National Mosque, Haji Kasenene presented the commitment letter of relocating the Lugard House to the Libyan Engineers led by Dr. Muhammad Shukur. They commended his decision which paved way to get the land title and they immediately started the relocation construction work. The Lugard House was reconstructed keeping its originality as directed by the President and was duly handed over to the President’s Office even before the National Mosque was started”.

CONSTRUCTION OF THE NATIONAL
MOSQUE

In July 5th 2002, Dr. Kasenene as the Secretary General was among the five man delegation led by H E the Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje which went to meet the Leader of Libya Col Muammar Gadhafi requesting him to complete the National Mosque which had stalled since 1974.  Other members included late Sheikh Ahamada Mukasa, Sheikh Habibu Kagimu and Prof. A. Mukwanason Hyuha. 
Dr. Kasenene says that;
“We were received by officials of World Muslim Call Society who later introduced us the next day to Col Muammar Gadhafi in his home city of Sirite. After some discussion with the Leader, he accepted to complete the National Mosque and sent us to meet his officials led by Dr Sharif in Tripoli for further discussions and modalities. In Tripoli, Dr Sharif told us that the Leader had designated a team of engineers led by Dr. Shukri who should come with us to assess the project which was under the hands of Concorp Company. It was agreed that vacant site should be handed over to the Libyan engineers from Muslim World Call Society. The Libyan engineers assessed the project and promised to come back to be handed over the vacant site. 
This meant that UMSC had to remove Concorp from the site. I led the removal of Concorp and requested Kiwagama Quantity Surveyers of the project to give UMSC a situational Report. I travelled to Nairobi to meet Govan Associates Actecture and Calbro Engineers of the same project to ask them to give UMSC relevant documents of that effect. Also, UMSC contracted Seka Associates and an independent Engineering Firm to assess the stalled project whether it could be continued. In November, 2002 the Mufti of Uganda H.E Sheikh Shaban Mubaje handed the project to the Libyan Engineers. Later, the Libyan Engineers discovered that the work done on the project was shoddy and thus it was condemned. It was removed and a new structure as it stands now was planned. The removal of the stalled structure was met with stiff resistance from a cross section of Muslims. However, Members of the UMSC management stood their ground and work of the new structure went ahead” Dr. Kasenene narrates.

UMSC GENERAL ELECTIONS OF 2020
As The Secretary General, Haji Kasenene played a pivotal role in mobilising all Muslims to participate in the UMSC General Elections of 2000 in which all Muslim groups participated, culminating into the election of Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje as the universally recognised Mufti of Uganda. 

KASENENE THE HUSBAND
Haji Dr. Kasenene is married with three wives namely; 

  1. Hajat Rehema Nambalirwa – holder of a  Bachelor of Education Degree from Makerere University and a former Principal of Kabukunge Primary Teachers’ College, Masaka. She is currently a lecturer at Buganda Royal Institute, Mengo.
  2. Ms. Janat Nabuuza holder of a Bachelor of Statistics and Applied Economics Degree from Makerere University and a self-employed.
  3. Hajat Mastula Namajjwe – holder of a Bachelor of Arts with Education Degree, a Master of Education Degree all from Makerere University and, a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from Uganda Management Institute. She is currently serving as a Deputy Head Mistress at Nabisunsa Girls School.

KASENENE THE FATHER
Haji Dr. Kasenene is blessed with 14 children—5 boys and 9 girls. He has educated  them as follows;

  1. Musa Musazi holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Makerere University and a Masters in Business Administration from ESAMI. He is the Operational Director of Google, Uganda.
  2. Sophia Nakate holds a Bachelor of Science in Surveying and has just completed her Masters in Geographic Information Systems (GES) both from Makerere University. She a  surveying officer in KCCA.
    3.  Amina Nassazi holds a Bachelor of Science in Quantity Surveying from Makerere University, and currently undertaking a Master of Science in Construction management in Nairobi University, Kenya.
  3. Shafik Baziwe holds a Bachelor of Science in land Economics from Makerere University and works as a valuer in KCCA. 
  4. Madina Nambajo holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Makerere University. He works with a construction company in Kampala.
  5. Sharifah Nanziri holds a Bachelor of Statistics and Applied Economics from Makerere University, and works with Uganda Bureau of Statistics.
  6. Abubaker Serugo holds a Bachelors in Computer  Science from KIU and he is self-employed.
  7. Hadijah Nabawanuka holds a Bachelor of Entrepreneurship and small scale Management from MUBS, Makerere University,  and is self-employed.
  8. Saidat Kabejja holds a Bachelor of Librarianship and information Science from Makerere University, Kampala and undergoing a Master of information Science in the same University.
  9. Rehemah Nakabikwa holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Manipal University, India.
  10. Faridah Nalugo holds a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance from Makerere University. She is working in Barclays Bank in London, UK and undertaking a Master of Busness in Finance in London.
  11. Muhammad Sekyanzi holds a Diploma in Graphics from MTAC.
  12. Asma’a Kasenene  is a 3rd year undergraduate  Pharmacy student at Makerere University.
  13. Ilham Kasenene is currently at Kings College Budo in S1.

CONCLUSION:
I think you have read all the contributions Dr. Kasenene has rendered to Islam and the Muslim fraternity in Uganda, that is as an educationist, an educator, acquisition  of the UMSC Headquarters land title, construction of the national Mosque, education of his children and organising universal elections; no wonder qualifies him to be a Muslim hero though unsung.

Wait for Part II of this story. For comments/views, send us an email to newseditor.info@gmail.com 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here